If this is the best we can do in terms of movies - if something like this can speak to the soul of audiences - maybe we should just turn over the cameras and the equipment to the alien dinosaurs and see what they come up with.
An hour and 20 minutes into this two-hour-and-11-minute endurance test, a hungry Kaiju attacks the city of Hong Kong and eats the neon signs of every Cantonese restaurant in Victoria Harbor. It’s sort of worth waiting around for.
Generally favorable reviews- based on 1450 Ratings
Jul 13, 2013Disclaimer: I loved this movie. I watched it twice, back-to-back, in 3D.
I loved the action and the spectacle. The battles, despite the oneDisclaimer: I loved this movie. I watched it twice, back-to-back, in 3D.
I loved the action and the spectacle. The battles, despite the one absurdity of giant robots fighting alien invaders had sense of realism that was rather unnerving. Everything but that (minor detail) was eerily plausible. I also liked the other messages found throughout. Mostly, though, I loved how it all came together as a kind of celebration of the value science and technology when coupled with human courage, ingenuity, innovation, self-sacrifice, individualism (when appropriate), and cooperation (when appropriate).
It's the many minor messages within the movie that made it stand out from mindless summer action movie fare (which are fine, on occasion).
First, what I like the most: I liked abiding theme of science and technology being tools for human salvation. There are literally no scenes without some object of human ingenuity in view. The giant robots are man-machine saviours that aid humanity in fighting against grotesque organic monsters.
(As an aside: I like nature. I was raised in a rural area, and I enjoyed camping. But make no mistake, nature can be brutal, and it is only human scientific, technological, social, and other developments that can keep the monster at bay. If you doubt me, try surviving alone and without man-made equipment for a week in virtually any natural environment. You may not be dead, but you'll almost wish you were. Where I live (just outside a city of 1 million), you’d be dead in less than 5 hours without winter clothing, six months a year. Nature can be subservient to us, but it must never again be our master. Precambrian humans had an average life expectancy of 31 years. Also, like the monsters in this movie, any number larger wild animals would kill a human without a second thought. A bear will rip a child to shreds. Wolves (prior to their gradual domestication by killing the more violent ones over the centuries), were a particularly large threat in Europe. An elephant will gore a grown man. And so on. **It is solely our scientific, technological, and social advancements made possible by an appropriate mix of individual initiative and group cooperation that keep the nightmare at bay.** The movie Pacific Rim acknowledges this. Unlike the technological luddism of, for example, the Terminator movies or Avatar [which both partially denigrate technology and science], this movie celebrates human achievement and progress. And movies could use more of that.)
I liked that movie (unlike almost all American blockbusters) takes place in several locations, none of which are large American cities. The United States comprises about 5% of the global population, and it’s nice to see that represented in an American blockbuster. And how many times do you really want to see New York destroyed, for instance?
I appreciated the message that both cooperation and individual initiative are prudent and necessary. The fight against (for instance, there are several instances of insubordination and deviations from military procedure, but they mostly involve serving the greater good).
I liked the love story component. The lead man was not a handsome male Brad Pitt lookalike, and the female love interest was not the typical American supermodel of action flicks. Rather, she was an English-speaking Chinese national who models the very best traits of many females from that culture. She is polite and respectful, yet stands up for her beliefs non-confrontationally, and she is obviously intelligent. She is "equal but different" from the main male protagonist.
I appreciated the cursory mention of the cause for the alien invasion: global environmental degradation, the (spoiler) reason for the alien invasion.
Although there is much "apocalyptic porn" (hey, I like it too), the body count is actually quite low. While we see entire skyscrapers destroyed, because civilians are evacuated in shelters, the number of civilian casualties is less than 100. (Contrast that with "Man of Steel", which had a casualty count of six or seven figures).
It was nice to see scientists portrayed are heroes. The two scientist characters literally risk their lives to test a theory and gain evidence that is crucial to a positive outcome. This world needs more scientists and technologists. Even the characters' stereotypical eccentricity is endearing: they have their foibles, but they are each aware of it. Sometimes, human foibles are unavoidable, and condemning people for (relatively) harmless quirks that they cannot change serves no purpose.
I did like that movie avoids many Hollywood clichés (for the above reasons).
If I had one complaint, it's that the movie is too short. It's 2 hours and 10 minutes. However, there is less action than I would have liked. It's not that there is too much "non-action" content. It's just that another 30 minutes or so of giant robot battles would have been swell.
In short: see it.… Full Review »
Jul 12, 2013Dull, noisy, clichéd. I'm shocked that Del Toro had anything to do with this. I know fanboys eat this adolescent stuff with a spoon, but ifDull, noisy, clichéd. I'm shocked that Del Toro had anything to do with this. I know fanboys eat this adolescent stuff with a spoon, but if you're looking for anything innovative and inspired, do not see this movie. Just terrible.… Full Review »
Jul 12, 2013Pacific Rim is a one of a kind movie: a 100% commitment to its genre and target audience with absolutely no apologies for its material.Pacific Rim is a one of a kind movie: a 100% commitment to its genre and target audience with absolutely no apologies for its material. Exceptionally well crafted, with full saturation of neon colors, rain and goo. Director Del Toro probably takes the uber geek fan film into a territory the general audience might not want to go. The battle scenes deliver, and the performances from the actors deliver maximum dedication to the material. My bet is that the film will find a devoted audience, and especially inspire young kids. This is far closer to the Godzilla 1998 film should have been. The executive who greenlit this film was fired, so be grateful that this blank check geek epic got made.… Full Review »